How to define success
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How to achieve success in business
- It is sensible to build a business plan, which can be adapted according to the growth and development of your business.
- Summarise why the business has come into being. Why is your product service different? What gap are you filling in the market? Why bring it to market now? Give top level goals for the first 2-3 years: number of customers, sales and revenue. Also how many staff and the rest of the cost base, leading to your profit levels. If you need funding, it is sensible to make this clear up front.
- Detail the customer lifecycle - take it step by step: How they become aware of the product, e.g. advertising. How they consider the purchase, can they try it before they buy? When they are ready to purchase, how do they do this - go into a shop / buy on-line? As customers become fans of your product, how do you get them to tell others, e.g rating your service and referring a friend?
- How will your product be developed and distributed? Provide details of the business skills needed to take the service to market - are they present, do you need to hire new talent such as a sales team or production workers? Are any IT systems, apps or software needed - do you need to create these or procure them?
- What is the addressable market for your product? Provide a clear estimate (using published data) of the potential customer audience. Don’t say everyone! If consumers, then break it down into demographics; age, gender, income levels, etc. If businesses are your target market, what is the size of that business or industry sector they operate in?
Sales and Marketing
- What is your go-to-market-strategy? How will you price your service to be competitive? How will it be promoted (social media / word of mouth / advertising etc), How will you deliver the product - electronically (using an e-commerce store) or physically (delivery vans or retail) - or a combination of both?
- Does your product stand up against the competition? Do a SWOT analysis. Look at your business Strengths and Weaknesses (these are internal facing). Balance these with the Opportunities for your business and the Threats it faces (these are external facing). What market share do you expect to secure over time?
- Where possible, apply the business skills and expertise you may have developed over time. If you have a gap in your knowledge, there are great learning guides on the Internet, you may also look to tie up with a mentor - a friend or family member can provide valuable insight. Bring on new members to a management team that fill a clear skills gap and share the ambitions of the business.
- How will your business make money? Is it one time sale or recurring fees? This will lead to your revenue line - usually stated for each month. Then calculate your cost base: raw materials, staff, premises, distribution, sales commissions, finance costs and advertising. The difference between the two is your profit. Look to predict 2-3 years out in your forecasts, with a realistic growth prediction.
- Organisation is key to a successful business. Creating lists of everything you have to do each day will ensure you stay on top of your tasks which help the operation of the business. There are many free online tools, such as Trello or Monday that you can find online and use with your team.
- When running a business you need to be creative. Always be looking for new ideas, approaches and ways to improve your business. Consider using digital marketing tools and write a marketing strategy.
- Stay focused on your short-term and long-term goals laid out in your business plan and be patient as you work towards achieving them.
- Hiring internationally allows your business to have a multicultural and efficient team, growing your talent pool and increasing the perspectives within the workspace. If you want to learn more about recruiting internationally, you can read our blog post ‘What You Need to Know when Recruiting Talent from Overseas’.
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If you were wondering how to run a successful business, we hope this article has been helpful in outlining ways you can follow to make sure your business is successful and what assets you can acquire to be a successful business owner.
- How to be a successful business
- How to start a business
- How can I run a business successfully from the start?